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Gaming commission donates $1.5 million

September 12, 2000

Gaming commission donates $1.5 million



By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer

see also: Groups receive gaming donations

The Washington County Gaming Commission doled out nearly $1.5 million to nonprofits Thursday in the single largest distribution in its five-year history.

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The Gaming Commission divides tip jar gambling profits to needy groups twice a year. The amount of gambling profits has consistently grown.

When deciding how to distribute the remaining $701,475, the Gaming Commission sorted applications from 81 organizations that requested a total of $1.4 million.

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Sixty-five nonprofits were awarded grants ranging from $1,650 to $50,000.

"There's a lot of work that goes into it and I can tell you it's been very rewarding," said Gaming Commission Chairman Curt Dudda.

Maureen Grove, executive director of Girls Inc. of Hagerstown, said she was pleasantly surprised that the after-school program received all $25,000 of its request.

"There's so many worthy causes. We're just very, very excited," she said.

The money will be spent on computer education for the girls and training for the staff. It also will allow the center on Washington Avenue to provide evening meals for the girls twice a week, Grove said.

Two nonprofits, the Humane Society and the YMCA, will use gaming money to help build new facilities, Dudda said.

Children's Village is using its $7,462 grant to provide free bike helmets to second-graders who go through their safety program.

A $24,588 grant will allow Food Resources Inc., which supplies area food banks, to handle fresh produce in addition to canned and packaged pre-packaged foods.

Dudda hopes a $50,000 grant for the Community Free Clinic will enable the health agency to continue offering temporary help to senior citizens who can't afford to pay for their prescriptions.

One of the new applicants, Children in Need, will provide free food, clothing and school supplies to needy children, he said.

A change in the law this year gave the fire and rescue association a bigger piece of the gambling pie.

But officers of the association said the county's 27 fire and rescue companies won't see a huge increase in revenues.

About $144,364 of the gambling money will be used to offset a decrease in funding by the Washington County Commissioners. When the rest is equally divided, each company will get about $21,400.

"We've got to be grateful for everything," said Charles E. Shindle, the organization's treasurer.

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